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Pretty much everything this guy writes is worth reading. You can find more of his writings at the link:

Thomas Sowell Articles

Does Patriotism Matter?
By Thomas Sowell

The Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday but patriotism has long been viewed with suspicion or disdain by many of the intelligentsia. As far back as 1793, prominent British writer William Godwin called patriotism "high-sounding nonsense."

Internationalism has long been a competitor with patriotism, especially among the intelligentsia. H.G. Wells advocated replacing the idea of duty to one's country with "the idea of cosmopolitan duty."

Perhaps nowhere was patriotism so downplayed or deplored than among intellectuals in the Western democracies in the two decades after the horrors of the First World War, fought under various nations' banners of patriotism.

In France, after the First World War, the teachers' unions launched a systematic purge of textbooks, in order to promote internationalism and pacifism.

Books that depicted the courage and self-sacrifice of soldiers who had defended France against the German invaders were called "bellicose" books to be banished from the schools.

Textbook publishers caved in to the power of the teachers' unions, rather than lose a large market for their books. History books were sharply revised to conform to internationalism and pacifism.

The once epic story of the French soldiers' heroic defense against the German invaders at Verdun, despite the massive casualties suffered by the French, was now transformed into a story of horrible suffering by all soldiers at Verdun-- French and German alike.

In short, soldiers once depicted as national heroes were now depicted as victims-- and just like victims in other nations' armies.

Children were bombarded with stories on the horrors of war. In some schools, children whose fathers had been killed during the war were asked to speak to the class and many of these children-- as well as some of their classmates and teachers-- broke down in tears.

In Britain, Winston Churchill warned that a country "cannot avoid war by dilating upon its horrors." In France, Marshal Philippe Petain, the victor at Verdun, warned in 1934 that teachers were trying to "raise our sons in ignorance of or in contempt of the fatherland."

But they were voices drowned out by the pacifist and internationalist rhetoric of the 1920s and 1930s.

Did it matter? Does patriotism matter?

France, where pacifism and internationalism were strongest, became a classic example of how much it can matter.

During the First World War, France fought on against the German invaders for four long years, despite having more of its soldiers killed than all the American soldiers killed in all the wars in the history of the United States, put together.

But during the Second World War, France collapsed after just six weeks of fighting and surrendered to Nazi Germany. At the bitter moment of defeat the head of the French teachers' union was told, "You are partially responsible for the defeat."

Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mauriac, and other Frenchmen blamed a lack of national will or general moral decay, for the sudden and humiliating collapse of France in 1940.

At the outset of the invasion, both German and French generals assessed French military forces as more likely to gain victory, and virtually no one expected France to collapse like a house of cards -- except Adolf Hitler, who had studied French society instead of French military forces.

Did patriotism matter? It mattered more than superior French tanks and planes.

Most Americans today are unaware of how much our schools have followed in the footsteps of the French schools of the 1920s and 1930s, or how much our intellectuals have become citizens of the world instead of American patriots.

Our media are busy verbally transforming American combat troops from heroes into victims, just as the French intelligentsia did-- with the added twist of calling this "supporting the troops."

Will that matter? Time will tell
 

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Thomas Sowell is a patriotic American and speaks the truth.
 

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We will only truly understand the value of patriotism when we lose it!
 

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I heard a comment from someone in the last few days make the comment, "if they shot at me I'm running and hiding", then waited for me to agree. I told them they were on their own, because if someone shoots at me... I shoot back and I'm betting my aim is better. They seemed astounded at the comment.

I asked them, if the USA got into a civil war or was attacked ... what would you do ? They really said quite strongly, and to my astonishment ... "I would get into Mexico or Canada as quick as I could".

HUH ? My response was not along that line at all.... mine was , I'm getting the guns and ammo and helping defend my country.

That whole conversation really concerned me, because they are recently retired from the military.
 

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I think it is portant for people to remember that there is a distinction between "country" and "the government". Too often people are acused of being "unpatriotic" if they disagree with what the government wants or is doing. It happens to people at both ends of the political spectrum. I think it is patriotic to question the government and our founding fathers showed and wrote, you have to be willing to stand up to the government.
Being willing to fight in a war doesn't make you patriotic by itself. Are you defending/fighting for you country or the government?
 

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To be a patriot, you have to know the difference between what is right and what is wrong.

If you dont...and you're into the touchy feely I'm OK,you're OK liberal crap where there is no right or wrong or good or evil, then you are just


cannon fodder.
 

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The article was an interesting read, but I'm pretty sure the painting of American soldiers as victims started before my lifetime.

Herk (with a hearty thanks and a salute to the Vietnam vets out there)
:cowboy:
 

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I think it is portant for people to remember that there is a distinction between "country" and "the government". Too often people are acused of being "unpatriotic" if they disagree with what the government wants or is doing. It happens to people at both ends of the political spectrum. I think it is patriotic to question the government and our founding fathers showed and wrote, you have to be willing to stand up to the government.
Being willing to fight in a war doesn't make you patriotic by itself. Are you defending/fighting for you country or the government?
+1 I completely agree. I have always believed that it was our patriotic duty as American citizens to not only question our goverenment, but, as you said stand up to them when the time comes. Protesting against the governement is IMO, one ot the most patriotic things an American does, it is part of our national DNA.
 

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As a Marine I am very Patriotic to my country not to the government. When a country becomes "patriotic" to the government they become communist. I for one would not run nor hide I would stand up and fight for what I believe.

I have not been in school for a while now but even when I was the stuff that is being taught to kids is a diluted, bias version of history. Most people forget that the Civil War was started because of the government; people were tired of what was going on and took a stand (which according to the Constitution is a right of all Americans). IMHO
 

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Real patriotism matters. Lots of what passes for patriotism is window dressing.
 

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Run and hide? Canada or Mexico?

NOT ME, I'll gladly try to defend this great country from any enemy, even our own gov't.
 

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Run and hide? Canada or Mexico?

NOT ME, I'll gladly try to defend this great country from any enemy, even our own gov't.
Your sig says it all.
 

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I'll probably get flamed for my opinion here, but so be it...... I am a firm believer that a major decline in patriotism began when the draft was eliminated. When all able bodied men were required to serve their country for a minimum of two years, the opportunity presented itself to educate young people on their country, their responsibilites to defend it and what patriotism was all about. They then passed it on to their sons and daughters in later years. There is no permanent group to pass on these things now. As each year goes by, the feeling of God and Country diminishes among the young folks and soon it will only be those of us "old timers" left to educate and defend what it means to stand when the Flag passes, to learn the words to the Star Spangled Banner, to grieve for the young folks who have chosen to be in uniform and sacrifice for our country. I think it's sad, but I continue to do my part to speak to young folks and explain what patriotism and freedom means to me and the sacrifices that have been made since the inception of this country to insure we maintain the opportunity to develop patriotism within our hearts and within our society. God Bless America!
 

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Top,

I'll probably get flamed for my opinion here, but so be it...... I am a firm believer that a major decline in patriotism began when the draft was eliminated. When all able bodied men were required to serve their country for a minimum of two years, the opportunity presented itself to educate young people on their country, their responsibilites to defend it and what patriotism was all about. They then passed it on to their sons and daughters in later years. There is no permanent group to pass on these things now. As each year goes by, the feeling of God and Country diminishes among the young folks and soon it will only be those of us "old timers" left to educate and defend what it means to stand when the Flag passes, to learn the words to the Star Spangled Banner, to grieve for the young folks who have chosen to be in uniform and sacrifice for our country. I think it's sad, but I continue to do my part to speak to young folks and explain what patriotism and freedom means to me and the sacrifices that have been made since the inception of this country to insure we maintain the opportunity to develop patriotism within our hearts and within our society. God Bless America!
+1 here. Well stated.
 

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We will only truly understand the value of patriotism when we lose it!
I respectfully disagree my friend, you may loose your rights, you may loose your freedoms, you may loose a lot of things, but the one thing you cannot lose is your Patriotism for it is not an exterior item that can be taken away like rights or personal freedoms, it's like being spiritual, it's inside you.

Just my view on it.
 

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I'll probably get flamed for my opinion here, but so be it...... I am a firm believer that a major decline in patriotism began when the draft was eliminated. When all able bodied men were required to serve their country for a minimum of two years, the opportunity presented itself to educate young people on their country, their responsibilites to defend it and what patriotism was all about. They then passed it on to their sons and daughters in later years. There is no permanent group to pass on these things now. As each year goes by, the feeling of God and Country diminishes among the young folks and soon it will only be those of us "old timers" left to educate and defend what it means to stand when the Flag passes, to learn the words to the Star Spangled Banner, to grieve for the young folks who have chosen to be in uniform and sacrifice for our country. I think it's sad, but I continue to do my part to speak to young folks and explain what patriotism and freedom means to me and the sacrifices that have been made since the inception of this country to insure we maintain the opportunity to develop patriotism within our hearts and within our society. God Bless America!
I'm trying to respectfully disagree and without attacking you as an individual here so bear with me. How is it that one is supposed to feel patriotic to support one's country when one is forced into slavery? That is what you're talking about whether you realize it or not.

You speak of the sacrifices made and grieving those lost in that chosen sacrifice. What do you grieve for in FORCED sacrifice? You do realize that there is no such thing as sacrifice when one is forced to sacrifice right? Make no mistake, ANY sacrifice forced and not chosen willingly by the individual making that sacrifice is slavery, period. It has no good ending and even if it did, would it be right?

As for the comments regarding young folks today not taking up that banner willingly and not knowing the price of this sacrifice many bear willingly, there are exactly 2 people in every family at fault for that issue. Forcing labor or sacrifice will NOT fix that in any way, shape, or form. In reality, it may very well make it worse.
 

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Right now the Senate and the House are almost totally ignoring the want and will of the American people and no matter if the people are "patriotic" or not.

We might as well be lowly bacteria in a Petri Dish because they have an agenda and they intend to drive it forward and the "Voice Of The People" be damned.
 

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I think the decline is due to the cult of multiculturalism in today's America. Yes, we are a nation of immigrants, but immigrants used to come to America to be AMERICANS, not nationality X living in America. A common refrain used to be you can live in Germany and never be German, you can live in Japan and never be Japanese, but anyone can BE American. It seems nobody wants that anymore.

We have waves of immigrants coming here who have zero desire to be American. They just want to hold onto their old nation while enjoying the benefits of this one. When you combine it with the rampant sense of entitlement among the native born, it leads to a situation where nobody thinks of America as "their home," but rather a "system" that needs look out for them or they'll look for greener pastures.

Once upon a time people embraced the idea of the American Dream. When people work hard and succeed, there is a natural tendency to appreciate the land that gave you the opportunity, free from governmental interference with a level playing field. People are conditioned today to believe they CAN'T succeed without governments help, that the field isn't level, and if they don't succeed it's America's fault. Either way, in that person's mind they can't love the country...you either hate it for not giving you what you want or don't respect it because it just gave you everything you demanded.

It's complicated, and that was a little stream o' consciousness, but times they are a-changin'.
 

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Take patriotism to the level of what be called nationalistic, good odds problems may be on the way. Simple flag waving is just as dangerous. Part of the problem, IMHO, is words like hero and patriot are over used to the point that there is no conversation, just people throwing words at each other and never addressing the real problems our nation faces.

A little internationalism is not such a bad thing. A dose of patriotism can be just the right thing. Depends on the situation, the question does not have a one answer fits all reply. In addition, our problems are not the lack of one or to much of another. As a nation we focus to much on our rights and opinions, and not enough on responsibility and understanding.
 
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